RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing is a conserved process where small RNAs target transposons and other sequences for repression by establishing chromatin modifications. A central element of this process are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA), which in Arabidopsis thaliana are produced by a specialized RNA polymerase known as Pol V. Here we show that non-coding transcription by Pol V is controlled by preexisting chromatin modifications located within the transcribed regions. Most Pol V transcripts are associated with AGO4 but are not sliced by AGO4. Pol V-dependent DNA methylation is established on both strands of DNA and is tightly restricted to Pol V-transcribed regions. This indicates that chromatin modifications are established in close proximity to Pol V. Finally, Pol V transcription is preferentially enriched on edges of silenced transposable elements, where Pol V transcribes into TEs. We propose that Pol V may play an important role in the determination of heterochromatin boundaries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)